A day after PDU30 took a jab at Customs
THE Bureau of Customs’ anti-smuggling campaign was in “hyper-drive” this week, with major busts recorded in Cebu, Zamboanga and Metro Manila that resulted to the seizure of some P90 million worth of assorted smuggled goods and unlicensed firearms.
The apprehensions, incidentally, were announced by the bureau a day after Pres. Rodrigo Duterte took a jab at the BOC during his televised Cabinet meeting in Davao City on Monday, August 24, 2020.
Last Tuesday, at the Port of Cebu, Atty. Charlin Martin Mendoza, district collector, reported to Comm. Rey Leonardo Guerrero that his men under Customs Police district commander, SPAS Jerry Arizabal, again apprehended ‘GRR Trading’ for cigarette smuggling consisting of 1,839 master cases.
A week before, Mendoza said the same consignee was also apprehended for the same offense when it tried to bring in 1,092 master cases of cigarettes worth more P54.6 million misdeclared as “umbrellas, tables, cabinets, and chairs.”
In Makati City, customs agents spearheaded by the Intelligence Group (IG) under deputy commissioner Ranier Ramiro, raided an establishment where more than P10 million worth of smuggled cigarettes and China-made medicines to cure ‘COVID-19’ were confiscated.
Ramiro added that in the course of their search, they also recovered “short and long firearms” believed to be unlicensed.
On the same day, the Port of Zamboanga also reported to Guerrero the seizure of cigarettes, rice, and used clothing (“ukay-ukay”) last August 19 and August 20, 2020.
District Collector Segundo Sigmundfreud Barte, said that on August 19, the bureau’s intelligence unit and other operatives confiscated 51 sacks of rice and 25 master cases of cigarettes worth more than P1 million on board the ‘MV Maria Matilde’ at the Zamboanga International Port.
In Bocaue, Bulacan, members of the Customs Police (ESS) Quick Reaction Team (QRT), confiscated 246 master cases of fake and smuggled valued at P15.7 million.
The next day, in Zamboanga del Norte, 34 bales of used clothing worth P450,000 were also confiscated on board the ‘MV Filipinas Maasin.’
Barte added that 105 master cases of cigarettes worth P3.9 million and confiscated between July 25 and August 17, were also destroyed in compliance with Guerrero’s directive.
At the Port of Manila also on Wednesday, district collector, Michael Angelo Vargas said he finally ordered the seizure of assorted ‘general merchandise’ worth P8.8 million, which were staying at the port since June 9, 2020 and consigned to ‘Asianic Galaxy Dry Goods Trading.’
The cargo, declared as “luggage trolly and toothpaste holder” turned out to contain hairdryer, sushi maker, high-end kitchen cooking machine, portable stove, remote control lamp, foldable shopping cart, and e-trike